I'd Hate to Be Displaced By Katrina & Need Pain Meds Now!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Read the following article which I read on the Pain Relief Network. If any of us were displaced by Katrina and needed some pain meds now, we would "be up the creek without a paddle!"

    By: Scott Canon

    BAY ST. LOUIS - Not even Katrina, it seems, can wash away the itch of addiction.

    In fact, doctors and nurses along the Gulf Coast report that the desperate and the craving have tried to turn the chaos of the hurricane aftermath into an opportunity to score prescription drug fixes -- pills almost certain to be abused.

    "Oh, you begin to spot 'em," said Shawn Tyler, a triage nurse working a mobile hospital plunked in a Bay St. Louis parking lot and staffed by medical professionals from North Carolina hospitals. "When they keep coming back, keep complaining about pain, keep asking for a pill, you know they're trying to work you."

    The tell-tale abdominal cramps and fidgeting, the vague complaints of aches, the gotta-have-something attitude -- doctors report seeing it all among a small but persistent population determined to cop sample painkillers or prescriptions for commonly abused drugs.

    "When they act nervous, that's your first clue," said Lori Fitzgibbons, a physician's assistant in Gautier who was actually surprised she has only seen a handful of people looking for questionable prescriptions.

    Physicians say it's no surprise that the drug seekers would capitalize on the string of ad hoc medical facilities popping up in parking lots and school playgrounds in the pummeled swath left by Katrina.

    Withdrawal can send the most severely addicted into painful fits of sweating, cramping, vomiting that leave them "dopesick," a state that under normal circumstance can produce wily behavior.

    Katrina most likely left their usual supply lines -- a series of doctors writing prescriptions for a single, dubious ailment or traffic in illegal supplies of heroin or cocaine -- severed. It also gives an addict an easy opening to approach a new doctor, and one who might be sympathetic to pain complaints from a displaced hurricane casualty.

    "When a guy jumps out of his car, runs over and gives you a strong handshake, doesn't limp a bit and then complains about his back, it puts you on guard," said Ron Kellum, a Diamondhead, Miss., physician.

    He opened up his family medical clinic in the wealthy community just three weeks before Katrina landed. Since the storm, he's been open daily handing out free care, prescriptions and even free medical supplies to the dazed and disoriented bumped around by Katrina.

    But among those walking into the small clinic are people from other towns asking for prescriptions of Soma, OxyContin, Xanax and a familiar family of prescription drugs that can double as recreational pharmaceuticals.

    "They're absolutely using this opportunity, saying their drugs were lost in the storm, or that they just got injured," Kellum said.

    He recalled one woman who coaxed a 10-day prescription for painkillers from him a day or two after the hurricane.

    "Five days later, she was back for more," he said. "That's when you know something's up."

    Doctors say the pleas for painkillers can put them in tough spots. A new supply of OxyContin might be needed. Or the physician might think the order for drugs from another doctor wasn't warranted in the first place. Or medicine could have been washed away in the storm. That requires them, to make judgment calls amid a hectic rush of needy patients.

    "Some legitimate people who should be on these medications," Kellum said, "I find I'm being a little short with them."

    End of Article
  2. ilovecats94

    ilovecats94 New Member

    I worry about that fact that there are people who just dupe doctor's into giving them pain pills when they really don't have any pain anyway. Really hurts those of us who do have the pain and need the pain meds.

    I'm glad we've never been in a spot like that ourselves.

    The people I really feel sorry for (among others) are the diabetics who need to eat regular meals and need meds and especially insulin(s) and to monitor their sugars with a meter and strips. Boy, I know I'd have a hard time getting all the meds I'm on from a doc down there in one of those states hit by Katrina and Rita.

  3. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I agree!!! What a nightmare. It might be a wake-up call for anyone on pain meds to keep a copy of their medical records in a safe place in the event of a catastrophe. They could show a new doctor their medical history to back up their need for meds.

    Secondly, it also would be good (if possible) to keep a extra supply of your meds, just in case. Maybe enough to last one month.

  4. rileyearl

    rileyearl New Member

    Hi jlh,

    I worry about not being able to get my medications, if there were a big disaster (we're prone to earthquakes and volcano action in the Pacific Northwest.) But, to think it would be such a hassle to get them from knowlegeable professionals is scary. At this point in my fm symptoms, I would definitely be begging for relief when I ran out of vicodin. Also, the miripex for my rls. I must be taking close to 20 pills a day now.

    Another thing occured to me from the article and that is the junkies/addicts are feeling pain, too. That's why they need the pills, so they can feel "normal" again. I think the powers that be are missing a huge opportunity to get the heroin addicts on methadone and get help for the others. Maybe it's not the powers that be, maybe it's the volunteers who can help get them help. Maybe it's a 12 step issue?

    At least the addicts are going to doctors to get the meds and not breaking into pharmacies or homes to steal what they need.

    Thanks for sharing the article!

  5. JLH

    JLH New Member

    bumping for others to read
  6. rigby

    rigby New Member

    I have used to same drug store for years and if I mail order I kept copies of my medication by keep receipts or get my drug store to print me a yearly copy of meds I taken this helps me to remember what help. When I leave town I take these with me. Sharon
    [This Message was Edited on 09/29/2005]

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